Friday, 30 September 2016

Book Review : Anya's Lyric by Nikhil Kumar

Book- Anya’s Lyric

Author- Nikhil Kumar

Genre- Fiction

Publisher- CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Pages- 180

Price- 564


Blurb-

“I was born on the 29th of February. It was perhaps fitting that I was born on a date that follows a specific albeit unnatural routine.

I was the child of a divergent day, a day that shattered the carefully planned routines of my parents, and was born because of one man’s inability to read.

I was named after a word that meant “different” in my language.

My name is Anya, and this is my story.


Title and Cover-

Both the essentialities have been taken good care of. The cover and the name both are attention seekers. With some great hue and a radiant image of the girl who is shown as a powerful figure, the cover is definitely a wonderful compilation of Anya and her life’s proceedings.


Review-

Anya’s Lyric is like a mirror to different realties that hit our nerves in the day to day movements. I found the book really to the point and striking because there were no efforts done by the author to impress the readers. The turn in the events and the way the story was made fluent due to a girl who is different from the rest is really worth seeing.

What is catchy and interesting to note is the striking blurb and the way things are used to come to the required part in the story where Anya is born in unnatural circumstances on an unnatural day. Well the analogy to this is quite literarily sound. Because it is a story of a girl who was different from the world.

I liked the concept of using the characters as there significant and noticeable marks and traits. It was Anya’s Lyric and it had to something umm, unnatural and less general I guess. I really liked the way the author has remarked the inabilities in the girl Anya by showing the people in the book in a different and provoking manner.

The different tales that were used to connect the story to reach the zenith worked in higher terms because everything came out to be so perfectly knitted that there were no loop holes left to doubt the story at any corner.

The story of the girl who left her home and the fever of her tale that continued even in the midst really touched me. I liked the part of the little pet of Anya and how her fears were used to show the intimacy she shared with the pet. I loved the part of the old magician. The full life circle that his tale showed was marvellous.

Also I liked the chain snatchers part and how his small act changed a lot of things in Anya’s life. Every act somehow created a space in her life and such relations which were getting drawn automatically was really interesting and making me high.

The intimate scenes that were shown between different characters were to the point and naked in all senses. It didn’t show power or cowardice of anyone in particular (sarcastically or in general); it showed deeper fragrances without any hint of plasticity. It takes guts to say what has been penned here and I am so glad I read something of that kind.

Summing Up- The book was a great sarcastic account at places to show what is really behind the cloak. The small topics that were brought up were so serene that I almost felt like a part of the book. Only and only a little more brushing was needed here and there to make the tale a whole lot smoother and shiny, in order to reach a wider set of audience.


Eye-catchers-

• “They had everything they needed and nothing they wanted, which was a fairly acceptable way to lead lives.”


Turn-on’s-

• Thought provoking ideas and stories.

• Great characters.


Turn-off’s-

• A little less clarity.


Recommendation-

Every great story need abundant readers. I can strongly recommend it to anyone irrespective of their likeness.


About the author-

Nikhil Kumar is a 32 year old advertising professional from Bangalore. Anya’s Lyric is his fourth book. His first book was “Untitled”, a collection of 25 short stories published in 2006, "Simran" in 2009, “Where are my pants?” in 2015. Nikhil has maintained a blog called MirrorCracked since 2001.


Connect with the author-

• Twitter- @nkkmr


Buy the book-

• Amazon Link-

https://www.amazon.in/gp/aw/d/153030721X/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1475254895&sr=8-1&pi=SY200_QL40&keywords=anya%27s+lyric

Spotlight : Fighting for Tara by Sunanda J. Chatterjee









FIGHTING FOR TARA

by

Sunanda J. Chatterjee











Blurb

How far will a mother go to save her child?

“I have no use for a baby girl. Get rid of her tonight!” He towered over her as she cringed in fear.

But Hansa, a thirteen-year-old child-bride in rural India, refuses to remain a victim of the oppressive society where a female child is an unwanted burden. Instead of drowning her baby, Hansa escapes from her village with three-month-old Tara.

Hansa soon discovers that life as a teenage mother is fraught with danger. But a single lie opens the door to a promising opportunity far from home.

Just seven years later, Hansa finds herself fighting for Tara’s life once more, this time in an American court, with a woman she calls ‘Mother.’

Will the lie upon which Hansa built her life, defeat its own purpose? How can she succeed when no one believes the truth? 

A story of two mothers, two daughters and a fight to save a child, Fighting for Tara explores the depth of love and motherhood.

Read an excerpt of #FFT here:







The soft light of the lantern flickered, casting a dim golden glow in the tiny hut, as shadows danced on its windowless mud walls. Thirteen-year-old Hansa squatted on the floor beside a metal bucket and stared at the glimmering water, dreading the task before her. Her baby whimpered on the floor, struggling in the hand-sewn cloth blanket. Beside the door stood the terracotta urn that held the ashes of her husband.

Hansa heard the grating snores of her drunken brother-in-law Baldev, soon to be her husband, as he slept outside on the wood-framed coir cot in the moonless night. She shuddered.

Just an hour ago, Baldev had yelled at her. “I have no use for a baby girl. Get rid of her tonight!” He towered over her as she cringed in fear.

She’d begged him. “I can’t do it!”

That’s when he’d slapped her. No one had ever hit her before… not even her elderly husband.

Hansa touched her cheek, which still stung from the humiliation and fear.

She doubted her courage to extinguish the baby’s life. Squeezing her eyes shut, she took a deep breath, hoping that dawn would bring her luck.

Tomorrow morning Hansa would travel with Baldev and all the goats they could load into his bullock-cart, and leave the village forever. She would go to a distant land, become Baldev’s second wife, learn the household chores from his first wife, and bear him male heirs… Hansa shivered, apprehensive about her future.

But before her new life could begin, she and Baldev would take a detour to the river to disperse her husband’s ashes and discard her beautiful daughter’s body.

Somewhere deep in her heart, Hansa knew none of this was fair. It wasn’t fair that in a country with a rich heritage of brave queens, young girls were still forced into marriage, sometimes to men older than their grandfathers. It wasn’t fair that she’d been born to poor parents in rural Rajasthan, a state rife with archaic traditions. It wasn’t fair that she had matured early and was given to sixty-year old Gyanchand Rathore from the neighboring village of Dharni, whose first wife and child had died in a fire.

She turned her face away from the bucket, her heart refusing to carry out Baldev’s orders just yet. A shiver ran through her body as she tried not to imagine life without her baby. Think of something else! Think about Gyani!

Gyani’s absence filled Hansa with a dark desolation, a sense of doom, as if his death itself was a living, breathing, overbearing entity.

She thought of his kind eyes, his missing teeth and graying beard, the massive orange turban which she’d tied for him every morning, and the long kurta he wore, which never looked clean no matter how many times she washed it…

But Gyani was gone. Two nights ago, his heart had stopped beating in his sleep, while she slept under the same blanket, her baby right beside her. When she awoke at dawn to the rooster’s call, she had found his cold still body. She shuddered to think she had slept with a corpse, oblivious, in the comfort of her own youthful warmth. Her first encounter with death. And if she did as Baldev asked, there would be another. Tonight.

Gyani’s death had stunned her, and grief hadn’t sunk in. She had not wept for his departed soul, and her neighbor warned her that if she didn’t mourn his passing, she would never move on. But did Hansa really want to move on into a future that included Baldev but excluded her baby?

According to the custom of karewa, Hansa knew that a young widow would be married off to her brother-in-law, so that the money remained in the family. Her neighbor had told her it was her kismet, her fate.

Hansa was brought up not to challenge the norms of society, but to follow them. If the combined wisdom of her ancestors had determined that she should move to Baldev’s village and begin a new life, who was she to argue? She had no family left, no other place to go.

Baldev choked on his spit and coughed outside, jarring the stillness of the night, reminding her of the task ahead.

But while it was her duty to follow Baldev’s orders, she would trade the impending task for eternal damnation.

Her neighbor had said that killing a baby was an unforgivable sin, even though she’d herself drowned two of her daughters the day they were born. Women are the form of Goddess, she’d said, crying at the fate of her own rotten soul.

But it was a matter of survival. Produce a male heir or be turned out on the streets to beg. A female child was a burden. Even Hansa knew that; her father had reminded her of that every day of her life.

That prejudice was her reality.

Hansa was terrified for her own soul, but Baldev said, “A mother can’t be a sinner if she takes a life she brought into this world.” And then he had gone and got drunk on tharra.

Gyani had been unlike most men in the village. He had allowed her to keep the baby, to give her a name. The baby’s eyes glittered like stars on a moonless night.

She called her Tara. Star.

Hansa looked at her baby with pride and with remorse, as every fiber of her being protested, and her stomach turned and her throat tightened.

Outside, Baldev stirred.

Time was running out.

Tara whimpered again, and Hansa turned to look at her chubby fists cycling in the still air, throwing outsized shadows on the walls. Hansa’s hands shook and her mouth turned dry. She bit her lip, forcing herself to focus on the imminent task.

The water in the bucket shimmered black and gold, reflecting the dancing flame of the lantern, mesmerizing, inviting. Water, the giver of life…


She made up her mind. It was now or never.







Grab your copy @

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About the author







Freelance author, blogger, and ex-Indian Air Force physician Sunanda Joshi Chatterjee completed her graduate studies in Los Angeles, where she is a practicing pathologist. While medicine is her profession, writing is her passion. When she’s not at the microscope making diagnoses, she loves to write fiction. Her life experiences have taught her that no matter how different people are, their desires, fears, and challenges remain the same.







Her themes include romantic sagas, family dramas, immigrant experience, women’s issues, medicine, and spirituality. She loves extraordinary love stories and heartwarming tales of duty and passion. Her short stories have appeared in short-story.net and induswomanwriting.com.







She grew up in Bhilai, India, and lives in Arcadia, California with her husband and two wonderful children. In her free time, she paints, reads, sings, goes on long walks, and binge-watches TV crime dramas.





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Thursday, 29 September 2016

Spotlight : The Smitten Husband by Sundari Venkatraman






Marriages Made in India

Book #1

THE SMITTEN HUSBAND

by



Sundari Venkatraman










Blurb



Ram Maheshwari is a successful jewellery designer who has a huge showroom on MI Road, Jaipur. He’s tall, dark, handsome and a billionaire to boot. He’s twenty-nine and falls in with his parents’ wishes when they try to arrange his marriage.



The lovely, stormy-eyed Sapna Purohit is from Pushkar. She’s managed to finish school and makes a living by doing mehendi designs during weddings. She’s always dreamt of a Prince on a white horse, sweeping her off her feet.



One look into Sapna’s grey eyes and Ram is lost. Only, Sapna’s unable to see her Prince in Ram. Being from a poor family, she has no choice but to go along with the tide when the Maheshwaris offer to bear all expenses of the wedding.



Does that mean that the feisty Sapna is all set to accept Ram as her husband? She puts forth a condition, after the wedding. Will The Smitten Husband agree to it?





*MARRIAGES MADE IN INDIA is a five-novella series that revolves around the characters you have met in The Runaway Bridegroom.



Read an excerpt...








“Good morning!” said a sleepy voice. “What are you doing so far away?” called out Ram, before reaching out with a long arm to pull her to him.

A startled Sapna gave him a shocked look that was lost on her husband, whose eyes were still closed. His arms went around her waist like steel bands, his breath hot against her cheek. “Sapna...” he whispered in her ear as his hard lips pressed into her petal soft cheek.

Sapna tried to pull out of his arms, only to have them pull her closer. Her breasts were flattened against his solid chest. Her traitorous body seemed to enjoy the pressure as her nipples perked up. She did her best to hold on to the control that was slipping fast.

“Ram,” she called out loudly, hoping to wake him up. She couldn’t free her arms that were trapped against her own body, as he held her in a crushing grip. His mouth was busy exploring her face, moving inexorably towards her lips. His eyes continued to remain closed, while his hands moved restlessly at her waist. “Ram...” her voice came out in a whisper, as she felt his tongue trace the edge of her lips. Tortured, she made the final move to capture his roving lips, breaking free her hands to hold his face steady.

“Sapna...” sighed Ram, kissing her gently, his tongue first tracing her upper lip and then her lower one. He gently bit the luscious curve. Sapna instinctively opened her mouth to let him explore the velvety cavern with his tongue. Shyly, her tongue reached out to mate with his, making Ram groan with need.

His hands moved restlessly on her body, her nightie bunching up. His muscular legs tangled with her slim ones, making her sigh with pleasure as his hard and hairy skin brushed against her soft and silky one. His hands cupped her lush bottom, caressing it lovingly.

Sapna suddenly became aware of his hardness pressed against her belly. Coming to her senses, she turned her face away, breaking the kiss. “No Ram.”

His wet lips continued to caress her, his tongue exploring her shell-like ear. Even as her heart thudded loudly, Sapna pushed against him. “Ram, please, will you stop it?”

His black eyes opened a slit, desire and slumber at war in them. “Sapna?” If he hadn’t been fully awake before, he was now, as he stared at her lovely face that was so close to his. He slowly recalled what had been occurring over the past few minutes. He had at first thought he was dreaming about kissing the luscious woman in his arms. How had she landed there in the first place?






Grab Your Copy

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#TSH #1 Bestseller on Amazon.in







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About The Author











The Smitten Husband is the eighth book authored by Sundari Venkatraman. This is a hot romance and is Book #1 of the 5-novella series titled Marriages Made in India. Other published novels by the author are The Malhotra Bride, Meghna, The Runaway Bridegroom, The Madras Affair and An Autograph for Anjali—all romances. She also has a collection of romantic short stories called Matches Made in Heaven; and a collection of human interest stories called Tales of Sunshine. All of Sundari Venkatraman’s books have been on Amazon Top 100 Bestsellers in India, USA, UK & Australia many times over.



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Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Book Review : A Window Seat by Vishala Katta

Book- A Window Seat

Author- Vishala Katta

Genre- Fiction

Publisher- Frog Books- An imprint of Leadstart Publishing

Pages- 251

Price- 250


Blurb-

A dying man has made the trains his second home to find some peace after he got some shocking news. He is only connected to his Thatha; otherwise no one knows his whereabouts.

A newly wedded bride whose only dream is to reach Mumbai but there are a lot of hurdles in between that she needs to cross before becoming a big name.

A boy who is finding something which he has lost long back, and with him resides only his faith of finding something good one day.

What happens when they meet and experience something extraordinary? Will they reach where they are supposed to?



Title-

The title was somewhat related to the lives of all the three leads, Hari, Kuhu and Stalin. What role a window seat plays in their lives is what the story all about. In Kuhu’s life the window seat that make her peep in the life which she always wanted for herself is what make her adrenaline rush higher than before. I found the title really fascinating and apt.



Cover-

A beautiful cover with all the essential elements the book has. I loved the faded image of the man through which one can see a train and that shows how a journey having a person in common makes some lives really meaningful. The colour scheme, the background images are marvellous.



Characters-

I loved the characters of the book because they were the common man with a very basic and limited wisdom which they pass on different generations and thus we see doomsday. A great mirror is shown in the book to all the readers that what is right to preach and what is not. People with half knowledge like Panditji often brain washes the people who know nothing at all and there is where the things take drastic turn.

From the major characters I liked Stalin, Kuhu and Hari and from the minor characters I loved Kuhu’s man and his mother. These characters were hilarious and very precisely penned. I also liked the man who was travelling with the three leads and narrated the story of the ghost. He was a piece totally. And the water guy Stalin met at the station was also a very important character who was genuinely interested in helping and not just to make money out of people like Stalin who was over helpful. I think the author has balanced things quite well.



Narration-

The narration was simple third person narrative. The author kept the things straight. The stories were handled singly and then they were merged for better movement. I liked the pauses and dialogues, they were very easy to grasp. The language was also simple and easy.



Review-

Not every day you receive a book which has all the elements in its pages to show some extraordinary traits. Well, “A window seat” is one such book where I could feel a lot of things in just a single go. I was fascinated by the three different stories that had something in common which made them collide and start a new venture to experience something very different.

A small kid, a married lady and a wanderer are following their dreams but don’t know the way. The idea was superbly crafted by the author and she kept the essence alive till the last page. Dreams are not uncommon but the path surely is. The book made a mark in my heart because it was close to reality. There were no extra efforts done by author to show how they reached the goals. It was a journey about how they started. And that is the beauty of this book.

From the start I was sure of reading something different and this was proved right by the revolutionary ideas of the main lead Stalin. He was a man of great worth but uneasy mind. I found him to be lost in his journey.

The fact that he was able to draw attention towards him wherever he went is really worth noting. The scene where he shut up the man who thought he knew a lot was a high point. Dialogues, facts and frenzy were all delivered with great effect by Stalin.

At some points I found the tale and him to be a little Paranormal but later I realized that the man was really on his toes to fill his life with some meaning and such out of the box concept make people a little paranoid about the stability of one’s mind. I found this aspect really nice.

When he was on the stairs, addressing a few bunch of people about what is a good omen and what is not, I found in him the revolution that we need in the present scenario. He preached the right end but the author very smartly showed what happens in general, without making the lead over power.

If we talk about the life of the girl then we see an upgraded version of a village girl, Kuhu. The author hasn’t hesitated about penning a character that isn’t shameful about her physical intimacy and desires. I loved the girl very much because she was so powerful and focussed that I sometimes found her a little stronger then the others.

She was subjected to my rage when all she thought was about her but then at the other point I found her brave to do that. And a credit for that goes to our author. She has crafted feminism without even bragging about it. And that's where the beauty lies, when you say a lot even without saying anything.

Her selfishness was her asset. But that is not all. She is still that little girl who is in the dilemma due to her upbringing and the thoughts filled in her from the very start. And this was shown largely when she meets the man of her life again. Her feeling are clear but the two types of thoughts that are running in her mind shows the picture of our country widely.

And the last character Hari, the small boy who is on a quest at this early age proves to be a very powerful tool to connect the dots. Without him neither Stalin could have founded what he was in need of neither Kuhu could have reached the zenith.

I loved the ending particularly because there was no end in particular.

Summing up- A window seat is a great novel dealing with the dreams and quests of three people who didn’t even knew each other but prove to be greatest asset in finding new meanings to their lives. A lot was said in the little incidents and a lot was shown by meagre imageries. A book worth cherishing.



Eye-catchers-

“...the loner you look at someone’s eyes, the more sincere your soul is.”

“And she would love to be a man. At least, she would have her freedom.”



Turn-on’s-

I loved the journey that was commenced.

The different people and their fixed frame of mind were shown fully to make us realize the real condition.

The incident of a lady ghost.

Right amount of different genre mixed to form a great product.



Recommendation-

This book can be anyone’s venture in finding out what destiny can do in a person’s life.



About the author-

Vishala Katta writes about the untold stories that ordinary people carry on their shoulders. She finds extreme gleeful childlike pleasure in conversations with strangers. Originally, an engineer, she set out to pursue her love for Communications at Mudra Institute of Communication, (MICA) Ahmedabad.



Connect with the author-

Twitter- @vishala_katta

Email- i.vishalakatta@gmail.com



Buy the book-

Amazon Link-

https://www.amazon.in/gp/aw/d/935201619X/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1474467261&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX118_SY170_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=a+window+seat+by+Vishala+Katta

Book Review : The Secret of God’s Son by Usha Narayanan

Book- The Secret of God’s Son

Author- Usha Narayanan

Genre- Fiction (Mythology)

Publisher- Penguin Metro Reads

Pages- 246

Price- 299


Blurb-

Pradyumna is in grief due to Gandhari’s curse. He tries his best to fulfil her only wish that can nullify the curse. But the pathway crosses Hell.

There are some forces which can dissolve the ethics and righteousness in the people. Pradyumna is trying very hard to keep the ideals of Gita handy for many more years to come. But the combat is not going to be easy.

What happens when the evil forces are getting an upper hand? Will Pradyumna be able to save the Yadu clan and his grandson who is there last hope?


Title-

I really loved the tricky title. There is no resemblance to the title in an easy and plaintive way. It starts making sense when the last few chapters arrive and the mystery which unfolds is of very high quality, no doubt. The essence of the good and bad we do is brought up in a very vast manner. And showing the simple things which is heard from the elders in such a celebrating manner was really delightful.


Cover-

I found Pradyumna leading the story in all manners but as we know that the base is Krishna. I liked the Mor-Pankh, I liked the dark background, which resembled the whole tale in a wider manner but I surely wanted something more, a little bit of Pradyumna maybe, or Maya or maybe a battleground. The cover was serene but a little plain as compare to the story.


Characters-

There were characters in abundance and my God what variety. I felt I have a lot of minds to read and play with. The characters were new for me and they were not at all boring or extra radiant at the same time. They were simple characters with some extra powers and very important tasks in hands to complete.

I simply loved Pradyumna for whatever he did and in whatever phase he was stuck. I loved him in the Yamlok, I loved him when he adored Maya, and I loved him when he cried for her, I loved his love for his father, I loved his heroism, and I loved his extra powers.

From other major characters I loved Maya of course. She was a true mirror of a woman, she was powerful, supportive and aggressive and not to forget lovable and caring. The part of the book where she summoned women in the courtroom showed her excellence at par.

I liked Kali because he was a very strong antagonist and the last speech he gave of course showed that how the evil persists in the world.

From the minor characters I loved Ajaya. All the Maya created by him was mysterious and superb. Also I liked, Koka and Vikoka, I loved there powers mainly, Alakshmi and all the illusions she created, Hasmukha and his unmatched friendship and Vikarna for his heroic deeds.


Narration-

There is nothing much to say about the narrative powers of the author. I could travel with the words and feel the fire through the incidents. All the major movements in the story were given a lot of emphasis and the minute detailing with all the names and Godly figures of different phases were shown with utter brilliance. I loved the fact that there were pauses before any major movement too. Loved the chapter names, they were not phrases but a collective abbreviation of what is about to come.


Review-

Who thought that there was a story even after the Pandavs defeated the Kauravs? After the rage of Bheem I thought that the fire of redemption was all done but some books brings incidents of different dimension altogether. The Secret of God’s Son has touched a magnificent phase of Krishna’s life. It is my first book in the series.

Frankly I didn’t even know who Pradyumna and Samba were and after reading the book I didn’t feel like I haven’t even heard of them. With powerful imageries and a great balance of evil and good the book reached the vantage point with some great accolades in its hand in the form of peerless narration, exuberating characters and a traditional yet fancy tale of a great warrior.

In the start of this great saga I was perplexed with all the new names and incidents because I had never heard any of them. I was prepared for reading another Mahabharata in a twisted way but that shore was left long back by the author; she was rowing to reach another end.

The mist cleared with the incident of Vikarna’s doom. The aura of this superficial journey of Pradyumna was embossed with pearls. And that was the very point that the book really became engrossing. I really enjoyed the scenes that were portrayed to show Yama’s palace and his workers who were matching the level of fury and rage when one thinks about this ruckus in general.

Further I liked how things progressed in a genuine manner and not just for the sake of completion. The pauses which the author took in between the heavy tale to narrate some folklore were very gripping and interesting. The management was crossing the limits of perfection.

The middle portion of the book was ecstatic and quite fun to read. There were really dark and mysterious corners in the chapters which were glorifying the story and enhancing the good characters. I knew that with the addition of Kali, the story is about to reach some other tangent. And I was not disappointed.

There were drastic changes in the surroundings and the most crucial part was the images which Krishna sees of his old days. It transported me back to the time of Krishna and Yashoda’s mischievous life in Vrindavan. I could feel the folly easily. I could understand the change in times with ease and most of all I could feel the pain of Krishna.

There is one more noteworthy fact that the author treated even Shiva and Krishna as simple characters. She hasn’t done any extravagant touch-up here and there to show there mystic powers. There traits as Destroyer and Preserver were shown respectively, but a parallel line drawn by her was never getting intersected by other details.

The dialogues exchanged between Balrama and Krishna was really touchy and the minute details hidden behind all that happens thereafter places an extra cherry on everything.

War is always the most important part in such stories. The sorcery involved in this particular war was something worth reading. Let it be Pradyumna hearing the conversation of the devils or Maya saving everything here and there or Ajaya’s fiery battle with Alakshmi and not to forget the realization of Pradyumna and the final combat, everything was par excellence.

And finally the great long speech by Pradyumna, it felt I am also in the midst of all the people who are disturbed and want some solace.

Summing up- The book is something different and totally worth a try. It has everything which the books written today lack. A precise portion of everything is well maintained by the author and I thoroughly enjoyed the new tales of post Mahabharata.



Eye-catchers-

“We are bound by our destiny, living out our lives inside a circle formed by a snake holding its tail in its mouth.”

“...kama did not mean lust but compassion for all life.”

“...our greatest enemies are, in fact, the doubts that live within us.”

“...they knew that without demons, mankind will not need Gods either. Nor will they follow the righteous path.”

“...it is what you make of your life that determines whether you are a destroyer or a redeemer. Your destiny depends on whether you choose hate or love.”


Turn-on’s-

A balanced approach.

Great imageries.

A nice blend of sorcery along with magnificence of Godly images.

The love between Maya and Pradyumna and the last section when he explains the requisite points to Lord Ganesha.


Recommendation-

No matter you are a mythology lover or not, this book is a must read for literature lovers and also those who are bored of common storylines and mundane messages.


About the author-

Usha Narayanan had a successful career in advertising, radio and corporate communications before becoming a full-time writer. She is the author of several books, including The Madras Mangler, a suspense thriller, and Love, Lies and Layoffs, a light–hearted office romance. The secret of god’s son is the sequel to her bestselling book, Pradyumna, Son of Krishna, which was published in 2015.


Connect with the author-

Twitter- @writerusha

www.facebook.com/writerusha


Buy the book-

• Amazon Link-
https://www.amazon.in/gp/aw/d/0143424173/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1474461859&sr=8-1&pi=SY200_QL40&keywords=the+secret+of+gods+son+by+usha&dpPl=1&dpID=51jkwuHCQtL&ref=plSrch

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Book Review : The Fence: Stories from HBB workshop

Book- The Fence: Stories from HBB workshop

Genre- Fiction (Short Stories)

Publisher- Half Baked Beans



Blurb-

The Fence is a collection of short stories compiled and edited at a workshop conducted by Half baked Beans in Mumbai.



Review-

“The Fence” is the collection of eight stories that allow you to travel like a hippie and adore the different realms of the society, people and surroundings. Every story had some magic in them, positive or negative. With great illustrations on the cover, the book becomes catchy and demands attention.

Ilustrado’s Eulogy is a very serene tale. A letter without any particular addressee, a reader without any interest and the beautiful tale of a girl, the mixture was deadly. The story was soft paced and I could feel every bit of what was narrated. There was a different panache in it that lingers ones attention.

The other woman made me laugh in my mind. The imageries were well balanced and everything helped the tale to move like a real life picture. I liked the ironical behaviour of the characters but the transformations in the ending were surreal and thank God for that. What I liked about the story is the uniqueness.

The Smartphone is a very crucial and toxic tale. On one hand I was so happy with the advancements, with the new areas that the lady was exploring and at the other shore I saw the debris. The quality of this particular tale is the management of different hues. I liked to see the crests and troughs giving company to a very mundane thought.

Resignation to Heaven and Love is everything were the stories which didn’t appeal much to me. I found them really okayish. And that is because at some instances in the former tale I was so lost in finding the correct meaning and feeling of the story that I lost my interest in the first few pages itself. A little bit refining could have helped the tale to match the level of others. It might also be the case that I couldn’t decode the meaning properly.

Love is everything didn’t have extra appeal. It was as normal as the coming of dawn and dusk. The story moved, moved and ended. Just like that, without creating extra tingles.

Runaway was a nice tale of realization but I have mix views of the story. At one end I liked all the proceedings but it became really heard after one point of time, not completely though. There was a great need of something new, something extra that could have lifted the whole concept a bit more.

Cashmere, I need Cashmere is my favourite story out of the whole lot and that is because it had things surpassing every other tale. It wasn’t showing just one emotion or substance, it had a whole bundle of love, affection, hatred, envy, inferiority and a beautifully appearing guilt. It was the effect of the story maybe that the characters of this tale were my favourite ones from all the others. I liked the pair of daughters, the old man and also his wife who was not even present in the story, physically. The story felt down to earth yet touching the sky due to such vivid colours. I loved the start and was totally in awe after reading the end. Well done author.

And "what she wanted", the last story of the book was my second favourite because I love the world of fiction and the way it is used in order to relate it to someone’s life is marvellous. It was one of a kind experience for me to inhale such things. I felt connected to the lady because her pain is everybody’s pain in general at one point of time in his/her life.

Summing up- The fence is a great collection of short stories, with topics ranging from love to hatred, from kin to friends. From all the stories “Cashmere, I need Cashmere” and “What she wanted” were my favourite.



Eye-catchers-

• “The heart to heart talk between friends has lost in the oasis of virtual reality.”



Buy the book-

• Amazon link-
https://www.amazon.in/gp/aw/d/9384315389/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1474095657&sr=8-1&pi=SY200_QL40&keywords=the+fence+half+baked+beans&dpPl=1&dpID=51cwMHI2wwL&ref=plSrch

Friday, 16 September 2016

Book Review : The Reengineers by Indu Muralidharan

Book- The Reengineers

Author- Indu Muralidharan

Genre- Fiction

Publisher- HarperCollins Publishers


Blurb-

Chinmay is all set to free himself from the worldly affairs. He finds solace in the old library with his friends Anu and Sabi. There life was monotonous until one day when they have to escape.

The Seekers School is not in its full form after some people decides to change the shape of the administrative wing and the modus operandi.

What happens when Chinmay and his friends are stuck at a place and its whereabouts are unknown to them? Will they remain in mental despair or will things change shape?



Title and Cover-

The title and cover were both were meaningful and far-sighted. I loved the colours, tones and richness of the cover. It is definitely eye catchy and also it says a lot without any extravagant detailing done.



Characters-

There were characters from two phases and I loved all of them. They were crazy, humorous, deep, dark, mysterious etc-etc. I liked the balancing that was done in order to bring in front both negative and positive characters so that some phrases become clear and impactful.

From the major characters I liked Chinmay and Siddhartha. The analogy maintained between them was superbly penned.

From the minor characters Sabi, Professor, Govind, Roshan, Nivedita etc were some of the characters which keep helping the major characters to move ahead. And I loved their movements, talks and traits.



Narration-

The first person narration was not bland at all. The story seemed more lifelike with that. I liked the change of speakers with the movement of the story. I felt that the number of chapters could have extended because a lot was said in just one go.



Review-

At first I thought that “The Reengineers” is about the gloominess that some students would face or are facing in their lives. But Indu Murlidharan really surprised me as I preceeded ahead. I was not at all ready for a book like this and after completing it I was certain that my time is invested at a very worthy place. Such was the beauty of the book.

The book started at a normal pace and a larger space was given to the readers to know the three friends who are somehow travelling in the same boat which has traversed from different shores. A deeper analysis was done at one point and other to showcase the mind-set of Chinmay, Sabi and Anu.

All three of them had an enormous amount of pain within themselves and it was well portrayed. I could connect with them and their depression without any efforts.

Twists and turns are the lifeline of any book and this particular book has loads of such surprises. The first turn that came in the book was enough to tell me that something big is on the way. I was perplexed just like Chinmay and others.

I loved the advancements thereafter. There were so many important aspects and teachings that were shown by different characters. The whole aura that was created of a secluded place offering numerous courses was ecstatic to experience. I liked the sarcastic imageries.

Further there were some particular places where I was enjoying the richness of the book. The letters written by the Siddhartha were my favourite. They had so much to say in just few words. Also the different type of people which he explained was serene and meaningful. The conversation between Chinmay and the Professor was the cherry on the top. Who can think of such an ending? Kudos author.

Summing up- The novel started at a very different note and ended up in a totally different dimension. I was dumbstruck to know the ending and the proceedings that lead me to such spectacular ending which was just smooth, interesting and not at all hasty, allowing each and every difficult turn of events to be grasped with ease. The book came as a surprise package for me. A fantastic read.



Eye-catchers-

• “It was so quiet that has a pin dared to drop in that room, the silence would have swallowed the sound.”

• “Depression is a cruel malady. It can paralyse your mind and leave you vulnerable and helpless, messing you up within although you may appear healthy to the world.”

• “The bigger your goal and the higher your targets, the greater will be the chance of things going wrong.”

• “You can change your fate any way you like. You only need to know that you can do it.”



Turn-on’s-

• The different levels at which the book went to entertain the readers.

• Wide variety of characters of different hue and persona.

• Smooth flow.

• Deep analysis shown inside the story and its perfect blending with the moving picture.



Recommendation-

Well this book can be read by all those who are fed up of their lives and who are trying to find answers in the self help books. Also fiction lovers can pick it for some different angles mixed up to form such complex yet easy going compound.



About the author-

Indu Muralidharan grew up in Madras, in a small house with a large library. She counts a number of characters from classic English novels among her early friends. Her obsessive love of fiction led her to delve deep into meta-fiction, reading and writing stories about books, writers and writing process, which she believes helps her to better understand the nature of reality.

Check out the spotlight of the book for more details of the book-

http://thesubtlebraiding.blogspot.in/2016/04/spotlight-reengineers-by-indu.html



Connect with the author-

• Twitter- @induauthor



Buy the book-

• Amazon link-

http://www.amazon.in/gp/aw/d/9350297299/ref=mp_s_a_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1474052034&sr=8-1-fkmr0&pi=AC_SX118_SY170_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=the+reengineers+by+indu

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Book Review : Figmented Reality by Zuko

Book- Figmented Reality

Author- Zuko

Genre- Fiction

Publisher- Frog Books- An imprint of Leadstart Publishing

Pages- 157

Price- 150



Blurb-

Addiction blurs our hold on reality; people say. But what if addiction becomes our reality? Siddhartha had a fair few addictions in his wake. The challenge now was to differentiate between the ideal world and the real world. Will Siddhartha be able to overcome his addictions and find true love? Or is it just another addiction?



Title and Cover-

Well the title and cover are the breath of book. Both starts making sense after one completes the book. I was very impressed by both the elements. The black-grey contrast with blurred image was like the sugary icing on the dry cake.



Characters-

There was a great need of more characters in the story. The story was becoming really bland with just four to five characters. It seemed like a stretched version of a short story.

I liked Veena and the narrator, because I thought they were the ones which kept the story intact.



Narration-

I liked the narration very much. There was a human which I was reading because the author gave a very wide area for a reader to explore.



Review-

Figmented Reality is a very different and analytical book in some ways. Well, when I started I wasn’t sure that as to what I am about to read. But as the story progressed things started engulfing me in a tight grip, as if demanding extra attention.

The dialogues that the author has decided to showcase have helped the story in larger way because there wasn’t much matter in the story but the conversations kept the things moving.

I liked the different kinds of relationships shown in the book. There was a subtle amount of everything and it gave a wider insight to the whole drama. The confusions which the lead experience when he comes in contact with the lady whom he admires is really nice to inspect. The author didn’t try to show a simple moving admiration and love concept, there was much more to everything.

The story was moving perfectly in the beginning and also in the middle. There were nice situations and twists. Also the speeches that were penned in the start of every chapter were really meaningful and serene.

What went wrong are the last chapters and the showdown. The surprises were great but I think that the author has just laid forward the suspense just like that. There were some clues left in the middle of the story but they were not that impactful. If and only if the author could try to show these elements of suspense in the whole novel bit by bit, things could have reached another level.

Also I felt that there was lack in minute detailing. There were some facts which the author has mentioned in the book which have no specific relation to the story or the characters. I never want to read the details blandly; I like to explore them through the actions, speeches of the characters. A little more work on that was needed.

Summing up- The novel had a great concept. The characters and situations were made a little dark and mysterious as per the requirement but a lot of detailing and extra usage of surprise elements was required to make the book a happening read.



Eye-catchers-

• “In moments between life and death, we might not remember every moment we are proud of but we certainly will remember moments we regret.”

• “Our brain produces moments that seem so realistic that we no longer want to live it in real life.”



Turn-on’s-

• Conversations, making things livelier.

• The darkness prevailing on every page.

• Interesting characters.



Turn-off’s-

• Things were laid out in a hurry.

• There was a great need of more details because some facts were just piled on without any specific justification.



Buy the book-

• Amazon link-
http://www.amazon.in/Figmented-Reality-Zuko/dp/9352016165/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1473942746&sr=8-1&keywords=figmented+reality+by+zuko

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Spotlight : The Secret of God's Son by Usha Narayanan













THE SECRET OF GOD'S SON

by

Usha Narayanan












Blurb



‘The seas will devour the glorious city of Dwaraka. People will forget your name and your Gita. May the world perish! May the world perish!’

With this cruel curse on Krishna, Queen Gandhari plunges mankind into the unspeakable evil of the Kali Yuga. 



It is up to Pradyumna to try and reverse the dire prediction. To journey into terrifying realms, confront Yama and Shiva, and to vanquish the Kali demon. In order to do so, he must shed all that holds a mortal back—his arrogance, his fears, his baser instincts… He must lead his people out of the swirling vortex of greed, disease and misery. And there is one powerful weapon still…the secret surrounding Pradyumna’s origin.  



Will he uncover it in time to fight off the cataclysm? 



In the answer lies the destiny of all humanity! 





Grab your copy @





Amazon.in | Amazon.com | Flipkart

Win the Game of Rafflecopter and win 3 prizes of  Fab India Gift Card worth Rs. 1000 INR

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About the author







USHA NARAYANAN



Usha Narayanan had a successful career in advertising, radio and corporate communications before becoming a full-time writer. She is the author of The Madras Mangler, a suspense thriller, and Love, Lies and Layoffs, a light-hearted office romance. The Secret of God’s Son is the sequel to her bestselling book, Pradyumna: Son of Krishna, which was published in July 2015. 





When she’s not juggling travel, writing and interviews, Usha reads everything from thrillers to romances, provided her cat isn’t fast asleep on her Kindle. She would love to hear from her readers here: author@ushanarayanan.com 



You can stalk her @




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Follow the tour @ Pinterest 



Media mentions



Praise for Pradyumna: Son of Krishna



Usha Narayanan has taken a quantum leap . . . to the outright spine-tingling narrative from the leaves of a time before. This book is Indian writing coming of age" Femina



"Like the best of our mythological tales, this too, is a multilayered one . . .There is valour, there is cowardice, there is glory, there is shame, there is sex, lies and deception" The Hindu





"This engrossing tale takes readers on a mythological saga" Times of India






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Saturday, 10 September 2016

Book Review : Rightfully Wrong Wrongfully Right by Varsha Dixit

Book- Rightfully Wrong Wrongfully Right

Author- Varsha Dixit

Genre- Fiction

Publisher- Rupa Publication

Price- 195

Pages- 278



Blurb-

Gayatri is trying to find meaning of her life. With her father’s constant pressure, she has lost the real pathway that can lead her to her dreams.

Viraj is at the peak of his career and it’s always his way in the office. But something happens and he has to mould his methods due to some reasons.

What happens when people start interfering in each other’s lives sometimes for good and sometimes for inducing troubles? Will the quest to find the perfect road come to an end?



Title and Cover-

The title is as fascinating as the name of the other two books of the series. No comments on that. The cover on the other hand was very extravagant. With elements which were infused in the tale can be seen on the cover and what else can celebrate the essence of love then red colour and cute hearts. The two leads were shown in full form and there nature can be seen in their postures and facial expressions. I simply loved both the title and the cover.



Characters-

The characters placed a cherry on the top. There were so many and they were so lively that it felt I knew them for a long time.

From all the major characters I loved Gayatri, Viraj, Nandini and Sneha. They all were very opinionated and strong. They were connecting well with me and were definitely complimenting the moving tale.

From the minor characters I liked Sana, Gayatri’s father and Viraj’s mother. These characters made the book reach the zenith. They had a very strong influence on the story in a great way.



Narration-

The narration was smooth, chapters were easy to understand and they were named well too. The tale could have been monotonous but the narration took the things to another level. It was on a perfect path, nothing less, nothing more, just perfect.



Review-

The third book in the series is my first read and I was not certain if I would be able to connect with the characters well. But thanks to the author, she has managed to bring all the important details from her previous book in the present one to make the reading a worthy experience. In the very start a perfect characterization was done and every person was handled with care in the introductory section itself.

I loved the fact that the author didn’t jump on the story directly but allowed the characters to breathe for a while and let their readers know that what they are up to and what can be expected from them. It gave a very large mirror to inspect things closely in the long run.

Further the story was appealing no doubt. There were incidents of bravery, rage, envy and what not. I liked the way the story moved, step by step; peculiarly, baby steps. Yes I felt that the story was moving a little slower at times. The incidents were dragged a bit where the necessity was not felt.

The advancements in the lives of different characters are smooth and I didn’t feel any negligence on the part of author.

The best part was the way an incident with Gayatri was portrayed. I felt that the pros and cons were shown at large by the author. She was shown to be at a vulnerable spot after what she experienced and also how that helped her in the long run to connect with the people around her in one way or the other.

Story was a mixture of aspirations and reality which Gayatri faced. The way things moved in her life must be analyzed by the readers and they must think hardly about the way decisions were taken and how everything combined to form a perfect stage for celebration. I think in a way the author has perfected the art of sending a message in lesser words and more of actions.

When there are highs, lows are also in the way. The story was going good until everything was laid in front. All the suspense was over and then came some more chapters which I felt were lowering the whole episode. I didn’t find them to be interesting as compared to the rest of the story. There elimination couldn’t have made any difference.

Summing up- Rightfully Wrong Wrongfully Right was a great book with light amount of everything, love, jealousy, friendship, brotherhood, courage etc, packed in a good form. Varsha Dixit has done full justice to the story but no doubt some eliminations would have saved the repo of the book. Nevertheless, the book was a light read with a nice balance of all the things making it a complete package for rejuvenating oneself.




Eye-catchers-

• “...he took off his glasses and placed them on the chair. A look through them and one would find that they had no power.”

• “Nothing or no one owns your brilliance except you.”

• “Gayatri’s expression was part fierce, like a warrior itching to run into the battle, and part frustrated, like a passenger waiting for a train that was running 365 days late.”



Turn-on’s-

• Easy and smooth writing.

• No hitches, no hasty moves.

• Great characters, very vivid and highly energetic.



Turn-off’s-

• Last few chapters seemed out of place.

• There were lesser amount of shocks and turns making it a simple tale without many surprises.



Recommendation-

Romance lovers can pick the book without much delay and second thoughts. Light entertainment guaranteed.



About the author-

Varsha dixit is the author of bestselling novels, “Right Fit Wrong Shoes”, “Xcess Baggage”, “Wrong Means Right End” and “Only Wheat Not White”. She worked in the Indian television industry before moving to the US with her family. Varsha actively interacts with readers through her website and Facebook author page.

Check the spotlight for more details of the book and the author-




Connect with the author-

• www.varshadixit.com

• Twitter- @Varsha20



Buy the book-

• Amazon Link- http://www.amazon.in/gp/aw/d/8129141973/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1473316184&sr=8-1π=AC_SX118_SY170_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=rightfully+wrong+Wrongfully+right+by+Varsha+Dixit

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